News Releases

August 1, 2013
 By Ned Rozell On cold winter nights long ago, Harvey Gilliland of Petersburg sometimes woke to the buzz of an alarm mounted on the wall of his kitchen. He kicked off the blanket, got dressed, pulled on his rubber boots, and strolled three city blocks to the building in which he worked. After Gilliland, an electronics technician, twisted a few knobs to restore normal power to an...
June 12, 2013
A memorial for Professor Emeritus of Physics Raghaviyengar “Sardi” Parthasarathy will take place Friday, June 14 in the Elvey Globe Room. The event will begin at 3 p.m.  Parthasarathy joined the Geophysical Institute in 1958 and was awarded emeritus status in 1985. The scientist died March 7, 2012 in Laurel, Maryland at the age of 82.  To read the obituary for Parthasarathy...
April 25, 2013
By Molly Rettig  On a clear, cold night two winters ago in Fort Yukon, Carl Andersen watched a rocket he helped design pierce the upper atmosphere. He and three other scientists shot pictures as the rocket ejected bright puffs of chemicals in an inverted V formation more than 60 miles up. "They were the brightest things in the sky," Andersen said from his office at the University...
April 18, 2013
By Ned Rozell Near a small village in Russia, Marina Ivanova stepped into cross-country skis and kicked toward a hole in the snow. The meteorite specialist with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and Vernadsky Institute in Moscow was hunting for fragments of the great Chelyabinsk Meteorite that exploded three days earlier. This search was different from...
April 12, 2013
A solar event on April 11, 2013 was facing Earth and should increase auroral activity for 24 to 48 hours after the arrival of the shock front, expected late on April 12 or early April 13. 

  Watch the Geophysical Institute's short-term forecast at http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/. You can also visit http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/#.

  For more information, email...
February 28, 2013
By Ned Rozell  Sometimes, after idling in the sky for hours as a greenish glow, the aurora catches fire, erupting toward the magnetic north pole in magnificent chaos that can last for three hours. “Substorms,” as space physicists call them, can happen two or three times each night.  The man who came up with that name half a century ago has, with a former student he once...
February 7, 2013
Conditions at Poker Flat Research Range weren’t indicative of a possible launch on the evening of Feb. 6, 2013. The skies were cloudy and the aurora wasn’t out, but then, a camera stationed downrange at Kaktovik, Alaska showed some promising aurora. From there, everything lined up to create the perfect conditions for the VISIONS sounding rocket to launch. At 11:21 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, the...
February 1, 2013
 Staff and scientists at Poker Flat Research Range are busy preparing for the opening of the 2013 launch window that will allow one NASA sounding rocket to take flight and arc through an active aurora display over northern Alaska. The launch window is scheduled to span Feb. 2 to 17, 2013. The rocket experiment is named VISIONS, short for “VISualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral atom imaging...
January 9, 2013
 By Ned Rozell Following up on a NASA promise to recover spent rocket parts scattered for decades across northern Alaska, workers for Poker Flat Research Range recovered more than 7,000 pounds of debris from 17 different sites in 2012. Peter Elstner, who also works for the University of Alaska unmanned aircraft team, led a team that picked up rocket parts from the White Mountains...
December 14, 2012
 Mark your calendars for Science for Alaska 2013! Our 21st year of the popular lecture series will experience some changes. Lectures will take place in Schaible Auditorium on the UAF campus and occur on Saturdays throughout January. We're hoping the smaller space and the coffee to follow each of the lectures will lead to a more intimate exchange between our line-up of lecturers and the...